Why does Skype drop my computer volume?
For a lot of people, especially on new installations of Windows, a strange problem occurs while using Skype. During a call, people will sometimes report that ‘everything gets quieter’, which can be a very annoying problem. If someone is listening to music or watching a film on their computer during the Skype call, the volume will fall for no apparent reason. People will usually remedy this by turning up their volume sliders, which just makes everything extra loud when the Skype call ends.
If you have this problem, you have probably hunted around Skype’s settings to try and turn off this ‘feature’. Perhaps you have also updated the drivers on your sound card. What you have to realize is that this sound drop is not Skype’s fault, or by any fault on the sound card drivers. The problem lies within a setting that Windows has enabled by default.
The feature is within the Sounds settings of your computer. This feature drops the system volume when Windows detects that you are using ‘communications activity’ – basically, when you’re talking to someone else using a microphone and speakers, such as with Skype. The feature is designed so that users can hear the person they’re speaking to without them being drowned out by apps and software. For some people, however, this feature is more of a hinder than a help, and therefore needs to be turned it off.
So, how do you fix this?
First of all, we need to enter the Control Panel.
For Windows 7 Users, click on the Windows orb at the bottom-left of your screen, and click ‘Control Panel’.
For Windows 8 Users, press the icon at the bottom-left of your screen to bring up Metro mode. In this mode, click the down arrow on the bottom –left.
Here, you can type the word ‘control panel’ on the keyboard and Windows 8 will find it for you. No need to click on any text box – it should automatically bring up the Search for you.
If you do not want to do this, you can instead browse to the ‘Windows System’ category, and click the ‘Control Panel’ button to bring up the control panel.
When you call up the Control Panel, you will see one of three screens. Check near the top-right of the window for the ‘View by:’ option. If ‘View by:’ is currently set to ‘Small icons’, or ‘Large icons’, leave it alone. If it is set to ‘Category’, select ‘Large Icons’.
Next, find and click on the ‘Sound’ setting.
A window should open, called ‘Sound’. In this new window, look for the tab that says ‘Communications’ and click on it.
You should now see a window with several options in it, one of which will be selected already. Click on the one that reads ‘Do Nothing’, and then click OK. Close out the Control Panel – you no longer need it.
This should now have fixed the problem with your sound dropping. If you need to test it, play some audio, then call the Sound Test Service on Skype to see if the volume drops. If it doesn’t – congratulations! You can now Skype without the annoying sound drops.
~ S.E. Batt